LIONSHEAD FIRE UPDATE – September 19, 2020

Current Situation: A light rain fell on most parts of the fire yesterday and today, the first rain since the fire began on August 16, 2020. The rain should improve smoke conditions and will allow fire managers to fly the fire – providing a better view of current conditions and the opportunity for replacement of badly needed radio repeaters to improve communications. The rain itself is not enough to suppress the fire, but it can be a crucial element for the work.

High humidity and rain will limit the spread of the fire today, but heavy fuels and duff will continue to burn and hold heat.

Collaboration with firefighting efforts on the Beachie and Riverside Fires has created great opportunities for containment on the northwestern edge of the fire. Incident Commander Dan Dallas noted that the team “…picked up on the rhythm of the incident quite well on our first day.” A smooth transition is a testament to the communication between the departing team and the new team and the organizational structure the departing team created.

Firefighting Efforts by Division: (Refer to the map for division breakdown.)

Division A: Towards DP87, there was not a lot of activity or effort except for a small spot fire that will be prioritized today. Steep, rugged terrain and plenty of snags are present in the Badger Butte area. Direct dozer line was constructed up to Badger Butte back along the fire’s edge and was tied into road systems.

Division E: This division is in patrol status which involves mopping up and securing the fire’s edge. Rain helped this effort and moderated fire behavior.

Division G, I, K: This section of the fire is in patrol and monitor status. Backhaul missions, which involve returning firefighting equipment to camp for use elsewhere, are occurring along this section of the fire. These divisions may be merged into one in the coming days as the east side of the fire continues to hold.

Division N and R: There are no crews on active edge of the fire in this division due to terrain and lava rock safety concerns. Fire managers are monitoring this area with aircraft and drones with IR capability as aviation conditions improve. Air support will monitor any fire spread.

Division S: A historic fire scar (Whitewater Fire) is allowing this division to construct hand and dozer line that can connect to existing road systems.

Division T: There is not much fire movement in this area, in part because this is probably the area that got the most rain. The steep rugged terrain and lack of resources have made this division difficult to attack directly. Structure protection in New Idanha, Idanha, Detroit, and South Detroit continues. Crews are securing the fire edge with a bulldozer. Spot fires are present and being contained.

Division W: The division was unstaffed yesterday.

Division Y:  There was no activity other than a spot fire and a slop over along the 46 road. A priority is to keep this road open and contain fire spread east of the 46 road. This effort will continue today after crews were pulled due to lightning yesterday.

Division Z: – The priority in this division is suppression of a 600-acre spot fire.  In coordination with the Riverside Fire, crews are working to connect road systems direct to the fire’s edge and where efforts will be successful.

Weather & Fuel Conditions: A strong low-pressure system will move inland today, creating rain and thunderstorms over the Lionshead Fire and the region. Thunderstorms may bring hail and heavy rain. Higher humidity will aid in firefighting efforts. Gusty winds may accompany thunderstorms. A warmer and drier trend will move in later this weekend with the possibility of rain mid week.

Closures and Evacuations: Evacuation Notices remain in place for the Lionshead Fire. Level 3 “Go!”evacuation notices were issued for the communities of Detroit, Idanha, and Breitenbush. The Warm Springs Police Department, with assistance from the National Guard, is maintaining the Level 1 “Get Ready” evacuation notice for the Sidwalter area, including Miller flat and the for the half mile east of Highway 26 between mile markers 91.5 and 99, and a half mile east and west of the Highway between markers 99 and 100.

Roads and trails near the fires remain closed for public safety. This includes roads and trails on the Confederated Tribes of Warm Spring lands adjacent to the fire and a 40-mile section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Santiam Pass and Olallie Lake. Forest closures are in place for Deschutes, Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests: Deschutes NF Alerts   Willamette NF Alerts  Mt. Hood NF Alerts.

Temporary Flight Restrictions: A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Lionshead Fire and surrounding fires. Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Whenever a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of the area. For more information, visit knowbeforeyoufly.org.

 Lionshead Fire Statistics:
Size: 198,231 acres
Containment: 10%Total Personnel: 1015Location: 14 miles west of Warm Springs
Reported: 8/16/20, approximately 8:44 p.m.
Cause: Lightning
 For More Information:
Email: 2020.lionshead@firenet.gov
InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6906/
Facebook: facebook.com/LionsheadFire